3rd generation Airman joins MTANG
By Senior Master Sgt. Eric Peterson, 120th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office
/ Published September 08, 2016
GREAT FALLS, Mont. -- Tyler LaPierre stood in the cargo hold of a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft parked on the ramp of the 120th Airlift Wing, raised his right hand and repeated the oath of enlistment in front of his family and future coworkers the afternoon of August 31.
Tyler may be the newest member of the Montana Air National Guard, but he wasn't standing on unfamiliar territory. That's because he represents the third generation of LaPierres who are serving or have served as members of the MTANG.
His father, Master Sgt. Doug LaPierre, is a crew chief on the same Hercules aircraft he recited his oath on. His aunt, Capt. Jennifer LaPierre Gunter, a medical administrator in the 120th Medical Group, administered the oath to Tyler during the enlistment ceremony. His grandfather, retired Master Sgt. Larry LaPierre, served as an avionics technician in the MTANG aircraft maintenance field for over 30 years.
Altogether, Doug estimates seven LaPierre family members have a combined total of over 125 years of serving in uniform for their state and nation.
Tyler said when he was younger his father would take him on trips to the base on Gore Hill to see the aircraft and visit his shop. The base tours and the LaPierre family tradition made joining the MTANG an easy choice to make.
"It was pretty inspiring," Tyler said. "It made me feel like it was a really respectable position and I felt like I could do it."
Doug followed in his father Larry's footsteps when he made his career in the aircraft maintenance field and he is now proud to see his son do the same for him.
"It brings back a lot of good memories from when my dad wanted me to get into the guard," Doug said. "The last 18 years with him (Tyler) have flown right on by and watching him enlist today is just amazing."
LaPierre family members have built a proud legacy of service which will now continue with Tyler's enlistment into the MTANG.
"The LaPierre last name has a pretty good reputation up here, especially in the aircraft maintenance side, so we just want to continue that for sure," Doug said. "I really appreciate the opportunity for my son to continue that legacy."
Tyler is beginning his senior year at Charles M. Russell High School in Great Falls and will attend United States Air Force Basic Training and technical training school following his graduation. He will train to become a C-130 Hercules crew chief on the flight line, just like his father.
"My dad inspired me to become a crew chief, he's been a crew chief up here for numerous years," Tyler said. "It feels pretty great carrying on the tradition."